Ever wondered what it is like to be a travel influencer? Read on to find out the hard work that they go through to take glamourous instagrammable photos.
Here’s what they’ll never tell you
The pictures of travel influencers look pristine, perfect, wonderful. You look at their pictures with envy and wish you had their life. But how much do you really know about it?
Work behind the posts
Just to achieve one post, there could be tons of logistics and proposals involved. This is especially true when content is paid for. Companies want to control how they have spent their marketing dollar, and the influencer has to decide whether or not to refuse that direction if it cramps their style.
Lights, camera, action. Repeat
One shot does the trick? Never. Setting up camera equipment, waiting for the right weather or for people to clear the scene takes time and hard work. Snap. Oh dang, the wind blew my hair out of shape. Snap. Shucks someone walked into the background. Snap. I should change the shutter speed. Even expert photographers need to snap tons of pictures for the right moments and in different angles or poses, to make sure that at least one shot is post-worthy!
Unedited? That's a lie
Photographers know that no photo goes out before first stopping at the editing suite. Instagrammers alike. They use editing tools such as Lightroom or Snapseed on their phones or computers to make pictures more pleasing to the eye.
They don't have a home base
“I don’t have an apartment and I haven’t for two years,” says Alyssa Ramos of @alyssaramostravels. Another travel influencer, Kiersten “Kiki” Rich of @theblondabroad is also a nomad. Half the time she’s in Southern California, the other half in South Africa. She travels about 9 months a year.
Travelling but working
Their trips are not vacations. They spend several hours a day pitching themselves to brands and negotiating deals. This is their job after all. They have emails to reply to and they have to go location scouting. The planning process takes days and it is still work during the photoshoot.
Their alarm rings at 5am
Dawns are beautiful moments and they have to catch it. Before heading for the golden hour they have to get up and look good – you don't ever see a ‘wake-up-face’ do you? This is true especially for Kara Harms, of @thewhimsysoul who is often up to take shots at sunrise, avoiding tourists and photo-bombers.
They rarely own the clothes they wear
Right down to bikinis. Sponsored content are lent to them for the shoots and they return it to the brand after. The good part about it is that they always have new clothes and can try out the latest fashion. Often they will plan what they need and approach brands to supply the clothing for their shoots.
Sh*t happens, they just don't post it
Sleepless nights, meeting douchebags, carrying overweight luggage, lonely nights in hotels and jet lags are real also for travel influencers. Their lives are not as glamourous as how their photos look. Nicole Isaacs of @nicoleisaacs shares, “I’ve gotten puked on by a kid on an airplane, lost my luggage more times than I can count, been robbed on a beach, missed trains and flights, and have been stuck in small towns in the middle of nowhere. The list goes on and on.”